It’s time to start stretching and getting your running shoes ready for Newgate Mission’s 18th Annual Gobble Wobble Fundraiser.
The event consists of a fun 1-mile, 5K, and 10K run and is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Nov. 19 at the entrance to Loop 281 of the Paul G. Boorman Trail in Longview.
Registration is free and can be done online before the race or at 8 a.m. the day of the race. Participants requiring a t-shirt are requested to purchase one online prior to the event.
Parking will be available across the street at Austin Bank, and police escorts will be on hand to assist participants through the loop.
Newgate Mission executive director NaTusha Howard said the 10 miles of continuous trails connected by the City of Longview Parks and Recreation Department will be incorporated into the event and will likely allow for a smoother course.
“I think it works better (because) we run out there and run back – that makes it a cleaner run for us,” Howard said.
She added that this would be a family and pet friendly event, so family members, friends and dogs are welcome to come for walks during the event. Bananas and water will be distributed to participants.
The races will all start in the same place and at the same place and will be a few minutes apart, she said.
Trophies will again be awarded for first and second place and an additional will be given to the largest group that comes to the event together. Individual participants who complete one of the three races will receive a medal, Howard said.
DJ Hollywood will provide music for the event and Taste & Sea Gourmet Bakery will be set up to sell a range of gluten-free baked goods.
Also at the event, the mission will have its book, “The Faces of Newgate,” on sale for $5, she said. The book by Anup Bhandarinow deceased, contains photographs of 27 of the portraits he painted during his time working with the mission. The book was produced as part of the mission’s Healing Art Project by former executive director Hollie Bruce, Howard said.
According to Howard, some of Bhandari’s portraits, which she calls “icons,” line the walls inside the mission’s dining hall.
Newgate celebrates 32 years of service to the Longview community. The nonprofit organization offers several resources, including daily meals, housing, job preparation, worship opportunities, activities, health and hygiene services, transportation, and more.
Although it normally serves between 190 and 210 people each day, that number has increased with the rising cost of living, Howard said.
“We’re seeing a lot more people from all walks of life, it’s not uncommon to see all walks of life, but we’re seeing a large population of people who might have had it before but now have less,” he said. she explains. “They take advantage of our resources and we are happy to provide them.”
Plus, it’s also served more families, which makes fundraising all the more necessary, she said.
“This fun race really helps us out,” she said. “We write a few grants…but we’re strictly donation-based – that’s why this race is so important to Newgate.”
With many of its buildings now quite old and the number of people it serves continues to grow, the mission hopes to meet some of its needs by constructing a new building, Howard said.
Last year’s run raised about $40,000 and they hope to raise this year by at least $20,000 for a total raise of $60,000, she said. With 366 participants in the race last year, Howard said the goal this year is to get 500 out.
She wanted to acknowledge the sponsors who dedicated their support to the event, including Eastman Chemical Co, Austin Bank, Peters Chevrolet and a few individual families.
“It’s such a good time, it’s so much fun,” Howard said of the event. “Last year was my first time and I saw kids running with their families, dogs, there was a young lady who dressed like a turkey, the music was awesome, it was awesome to see people there for a common cause.”